What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.
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losna
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What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby losna » 17 Jul 2017 15:24

How would have been the Eastern Front if the Wehrmacht had been able to mount a head to head fight against the Red Army with Hungarian, Italian and Finnish assistance, and excluding Lend Lease and every involvement in other fronts?

EDIT: In this what if Hitler doesn't occupy Czechoslovakia in 1939 but instead attacks only Poland that doesn't have Western Allies' guarantees.
Last edited by losna on 17 Jul 2017 17:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby maltesefalcon » 17 Jul 2017 16:36

France and UK had no particular love for Bolsheviks, so if Soviets and Germany were the only belligerents they may stand aside. After all they made no effort to interfere in 1939 mini war between Soviets and Japan. France/UK went to war over guarantees to the Poles. In this case Germany must avoid invading Poland and therefore cannot use its resources or its terrain for a staging area. (There is already a recent thread about this scenario on this sub-forum.)

It is now a question of when the battles take place. Germany was in no way shape or form ready to take on a (successful) Barabarossa scale offensive in 1939.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby Kingfish » 17 Jul 2017 17:05

maltesefalcon wrote: France/UK went to war over guarantees to the Poles. In this case Germany must avoid invading Poland and therefore cannot use its resources or its terrain for a staging area. (There is already a recent thread about this scenario on this sub-forum.)


That's a deal breaker right there.
Lose Poland and you lose close to 2/3 of the available frontage. Germany would be left with access through Prussia and Romania, neither of which is big enough to allow sufficient room for deployments.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby losna » 17 Jul 2017 17:41

Kingfish wrote:That's a deal breaker right there.
Lose Poland and you lose close to 2/3 of the available frontage. Germany would be left with access through Prussia and Romania, neither of which is big enough to allow sufficient room for deployments.


Er, I didn't specify that in this what if Germany attacks Poland without occupying first Czechoslovakia, thus not triggering the guarantee apocalypse that doomed Hitler's plans.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby maltesefalcon » 17 Jul 2017 18:37

You actually specified the rules of the scenario quite well in the title. If you "focus only against the USSR" then you by definition cannot attack other nations. Making major changes to your original post after people have already responded is somewhat unfair.
So you'd leave Czechoslovakia as an island in the middle? Have you forgotten how many good tanks and the factories that build them fell into Hitlers lap as a result of the Czech takeover?
Hungary would have a small front to manouvre through since Romania is also not involved per OP. What incentive do they have to participate? If they emerge on the winning side, they can only expand their post war territory at the expense of two non participants, Czechoslovakia or Romania.

Unless Germany hands over the southern half of now-added Poland to them postwar?
Last edited by maltesefalcon on 17 Jul 2017 19:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby losna » 17 Jul 2017 19:00

maltesefalcon wrote:You actually specified the rules of the scenario quite well in the title. If you "focus only against the USSR" then you by definition cannot attack other nations. Making major changes to your original post after people have already responded is somewhat unfair.
So you'd leave Czechoslovakia as an island in the middle? Hungary would have a small front to manouvre through since Romania is also not involved per OP. What incentive do they have to participate? If they emerge on the winning side, they can only expand their post war territory at the expense of two non participants, Czechoslovakia or Romania.

Unless Germany hands over the southern half of now-added Poland to them post war?


Italy had zero incentives to partecipate, yet it provided a 300k strong army.
Moreover, alter Germany occupies Poland, it's all in Stalin's hands: I suspect that he undertook the OTL policy mainly because of busy Western powers. Otherwise, if Stalin neverthless gobbles part of Romania and the Baltic States, an Axis coalition as in OTL will form.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby maltesefalcon » 17 Jul 2017 19:11

Italy participated because Hitler browbeat them into doing so. (After the Germans pulled Mussolinis fat out of the fire in Greece and North Africa.) Neither battle takes place now but Ive not argued the Italians would not come.

More importantly the Germans lose the element of surprise having to cross the newly added Poland to cross first.

Sorry I had ediited my reply above to include a reference to the Czech tanks and factories but you'd already replied by then.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby maltesefalcon » 17 Jul 2017 19:29

losna wrote:
maltesefalcon wrote:Otherwise, if Stalin neverthless gobbles part of Romania and the Baltic States, an Axis coalition as in OTL will form.


Im struggling with this one. You added Poland to the original equation in an attempt to make your scenario more plausible. Now you've thrown four more countries into the mix out of thin air. This is so radically different from the OP I think Ill bow out of this one for now. Its like trying to nail Jello to a wall...

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby ljadw » 17 Jul 2017 19:55

losna wrote:How would have been the Eastern Front if the Wehrmacht had been able to mount a head to head fight against the Red Army with Hungarian, Italian and Finnish assistance, and excluding Lend Lease and every involvement in other fronts?

EDIT: In this what if Hitler doesn't occupy Czechoslovakia in 1939 but instead attacks only Poland that doesn't have Western Allies' guarantees.

Probably the Soviets would be in Berlin in 1941 or 1942.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby Markus Becker » 18 Jul 2017 06:30

ljadw wrote:
losna wrote:How would have been the Eastern Front if the Wehrmacht had been able to mount a head to head fight against the Red Army with Hungarian, Italian and Finnish assistance, and excluding Lend Lease and every involvement in other fronts?

EDIT: In this what if Hitler doesn't occupy Czechoslovakia in 1939 but instead attacks only Poland that doesn't have Western Allies' guarantees.

Probably the Soviets would be in Berlin in 1941 or 1942.


But only as POW.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby ljadw » 18 Jul 2017 07:07

No : in the OTL (war with Britain and SU) Germany attacked the SU with 150 divisions /

In the ATL (no war in the West ) Germany would have less forces to attack the SU,because more forces would be tied in the West against a possible attack by the West .In the OTL some 130 allied divisions had been eliminated in may /june 1940, in the ATL these divisions would constitute a big possible danger .
And there is the additional danger of the Czech divisions.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby losna » 18 Jul 2017 09:04

maltesefalcon wrote:
Im struggling with this one. You added Poland to the original equation in an attempt to make your scenario more plausible. Now you've thrown four more countries into the mix out of thin air. This is so radically different from the OP I think Ill bow out of this one for now. Its like trying to nail Jello to a wall...


I've not specified that Germany invades Poland because I feared to get bogged down into an endless discussion about the Western Allies attacking neverthless Germany as happened to me before. My fault, and I tried to fix it.

If then we add that Germany doesn't get involved into a war in the west, how Stalin will behave? If he moves toward a neo-tsarist policy, he will stumble into the territorial guarantees that were signed after the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Romania, Poland and Yugoslavia. These will be almost surley signed in an alternative timeline.
So, I tend to think that Stalin would not attack Romania. I think he would probably move against Finland and then the Baltic countries - and if Germany attacks in 1940 before Soviet Union can put his hands on those states the OKW can spare a whole Army Group to use it on other fronts, since historically AG North was used almost exclusively to conquer territories acquired less than a year before by the Red Army.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby Markus Becker » 18 Jul 2017 15:28

ljadw wrote:No : in the OTL (war with Britain and SU) Germany attacked the SU with 150 divisions /

In the ATL (no war in the West ) Germany would have less forces to attack the SU,because more forces would be tied in the West against a possible attack by the West .In the OTL some 130 allied divisions had been eliminated in may /june 1940, in the ATL these divisions would constitute a big possible danger .
And there is the additional danger of the Czech divisions.


Ok, that's something but not enough. The Red Army of 1941 was still suffering very badly form the 1930's purges. They'd have a less hard time on the defensive but I don't see them adavancing into Poland in 42, much less into Germany.

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR?

Postby ljadw » 18 Jul 2017 18:55

Markus Becker wrote: The Red Army of 1941 was still suffering very badly form the 1930's purges.

They'd have a less hard time on the defensive but I don't see them adavancing into Poland in 42, much less into Germany.



1)Here I am disagreeing : I am convinced that the whole purge thing has been invented by the Russian military after the death of Stalin to blame him :a scape-goat was needed

2 ) It would depend on the German strength : in the OTL they attacked with 150 divisions, 3200 tanks and 2800 aircraft / What would have been the strength of the Ostheer in the ATL ?

One must not forget that already in august 1941 the Red army counter-attacked from Leningrad to the Black Sea : in the ATL we would have a much weaker Ostheer facing a Red Army with the same strength .Would this Ostheer sustain the Soviet offensive in the winter of 1941/1942 ?

With a stron Ostheer in the ATL,Barbarossa failed after a few weeks .What would happen with a much weaker Ostheer ?

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Re: What if Germany had been able to focus only against the USSR

Postby maltesefalcon » 18 Jul 2017 23:09

losna wrote:
maltesefalcon wrote:
Im struggling with this one. You added Poland to the original equation in an attempt to make your scenario more plausible. Now you've thrown four more countries into the mix out of thin air. This is so radically different from the OP I think Ill bow out of this one for now. Its like trying to nail Jello to a wall...


I've not specified that Germany invades Poland because I feared to get bogged down into an endless discussion about the Western Allies attacking neverthless Germany as happened to me before. My fault, and I tried to fix it.

If then we add that Germany doesn't get involved into a war in the west, how Stalin will behave? If he moves toward a neo-tsarist policy, he will stumble into the territorial guarantees that were signed after the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Romania, Poland and Yugoslavia. These will be almost surley signed in an alternative timeline.
So, I tend to think that Stalin would not attack Romania. I think he would probably move against Finland and then the Baltic countries - and if Germany attacks in 1940 before Soviet Union can put his hands on those states the OKW can spare a whole Army Group to use it on other fronts, since historically AG North was used almost exclusively to conquer territories acquired less than a year before by the Red Army.


One of the pitfalls of What Ifs is that people pick and choose their points of departure then assume most of the timeline that is convenient to your argument will proceed as IRL. There is also the temptation to gloss over major points that are inconvenient as well.

For example you are citing above political events which occured as a consequence of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.(The Molotov Ribbentrop agreement owes at least a portion of its development to that.)But you have already stipulated that the occupation of Czechoslovakia did not take place. This was to somehow allow an invasion of Poland by Germany without the west being involved.

I know you dont want to talk about this but you have not come up with a plausible scenario. There are simply too many countries out of the mix for the invasion of Russia to succeed. Have a look at the map and you'll see. The projected route would be too narrow and too far away from the Russian frontier. And btw, Hungary and Romania were not in the German sphere until shortly before Barbarrossa. The fall of France would be a likely catalyst for this and now its not there.

Neither are the supplies, factories and manpower gleaned from western Europe. Not to mention all the captured tracks and vehicles which enabled tbe Germans to vastly increase the number of motorized troops. On top of that Stalin's troops would be closer to the Romanian oil fields than the Wehrmacht. The Russians did not need the oil as much so they didnt even need to capture the area, just destroy the capacity, even temporarily.

I will restate that this is simply not a likely scenario, so it is pointless to gage Stalins reaction to it.


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